The OCP Group, a global leader in phosphate fertilisers is joining forces with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, to obtain the leading global business certification for gender equality – EDGE (Economic Dividends for Gender Equality).
The EDGE certification evaluates companies’ gender equality performance against global and industry benchmarks, helping them become a gender equal environment to work in, invest in, and do business with. OCP would become the first Moroccan company to obtain this certification, which will support its commitment to promoting equal opportunities not only within its organisation, but also within its ecosystem and among its employees and communities in Morocco and across Africa.
Launched at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in 2011, EDGE currently works with 200 organisations in 44 countries, representing 29 industries and employing globally more than 2.4m employees.
With more than 20,000 employees of several nationalities, and a turnover of nearly $6bn in 2020, the OCP Group is one of the largest employers in Morocco and is positioned at the forefront of initiatives aimed at contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, and helping meet global challenges related to human rights and the fight against poverty.
“This project confirms our aspiration to be part of a results-oriented approach. It represents a first step that will accelerate the OCP Group’s performance in promoting gender inclusion and diversity as drivers of our transformation. EDGE certification will allow us to measure the our improvement in these areas,” said Nadia Fassi Fehri, Chief Transformation Officer at the OCP Group.
The OCP Group’s EDGE certification process, supported by IFC, aims more broadly to help strengthen the participation of women in the labour market in Morocco, and in Africa, all the more important in the current post-Covid recovery context.
The OCP Group has been promoting gender equality for several years, and considers diversity as a vector of sustainable growth and a pillar for its strategic goals. This approach is beginning to show results: at the OCP Group the number of of female executives has grown from 23% in 2013 to 34% today, while the number of employees under the age of 30, has increased from 30% to 50%.
Promoting inclusion and gender equality is not only limited to OCP’s employees. The Group supports hundreds of women farmers in Morocco, Gambia and Senegal through specific programs; several young female students through its Lycée d’Excellence; and numerous startups by young women through its programs at the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University.
“Moroccan women represent a largely untapped pool of talent. Strengtheing women’s role at the workplace will boost the performance of Moroccan businesses and accelerate recovery,” said Xavier Reille, IFC Country Manager for the Maghreb. “We hope our partnership with the OCP Group will encourage more companies to commit to gender equal workplaces.”
The current IFC and OCP partnership adds to an earlier partnership between the two aimed at strengthening the rice sector in Côte d’Ivoire and millet sector in Senegal, helping to improve the standard of living for thousands of small holder producers. The partnership is aligned with a common objective to promote development in Morocco and across Africa in various sectors, including in agriculture, research and education.